Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has taken issue with HBO’s “Winning Time.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar criticized Adam McKay’s latest series for HBO, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, for being inaccurate and lazily written, in a new blog post published this week. The series focuses on the personal and professional lives of the Lakers players and front office in the 1980s.
“How did so many talented people go so terribly wrong?” Abdul-Jabbar wondered in his post.
He goes on to reference his issues with McKay’s latest film, Don’t Look Up, which was released last year to mixed reviews.
Abdul-Jabbar explains: “I thought the poor quality of ‘Don’t Look Up’ was an anomaly. I hoped that perhaps because he was overwhelmed by his passion about global warming, he let his commitment overshadow his critical eye. But now that ‘Winning Time’ suffers from some of the same shallowness and lazy writing, I’m not so sure.”
The Lakers legend continues: “The characters are crude stick-figure representations that resemble real people, the way Lego Han Solo resembles Harrison Ford. Each character is reduced to a single bold trait, as if the writers were afraid anything more complex would tax the viewers’ comprehension.”
As for characters he feels are poorly written, he singles out Jerry West’s character, played by Jason Clarke.
“[Jerry] has openly discussed his struggle with mental health, especially depression,” Abdul-Jabbar writes. “Instead of exploring his issues with compassion as a way to better understand the man, they turn him into a Wile E. Coyote cartoon to be laughed at. He never broke golf clubs, he didn’t throw his trophy through the window. Sure, those actions make dramatic moments, but they reek of facile exploitation of the man rather than exploration of character.”
Abdul-Jabbar ends his post by recommending his audience to watch Magic Johnson’s new Apple TV+ documentary They Call Me Magic, which he says is “excellent.”